Reporting Person – Giorgio Framalicco
Councillor Lyons, Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy, introduced the report which provided details of the public consultation and engagement undertaken on the Masterplan and set out options for next steps. It was noted that over 850 formal consultation responses had been received. The wide-ranging consultation had included opportunities for residents, organisations and developers to engage in person, online and at different locations in the Borough, including a pop-up shop in the Town Centre. Following a potential legal challenge, changes to the planning system, and the likely consequence of the second appeal decision in relation to Crown Place, it was noted that the Council should not proceed to adopt the Masterplan in its current form. The Portfolio Holder advised that Officers were considering next steps and a report on those options would be brought to a future meeting of the Executive.
Councillor Dorsett raised a number of questions regarding the report, including the decision to bring forward the Masterplan as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) rather than a Development Plan Document (DPD), the Crown Place appeal, legal advice on the validity of the Masterplan, and potential conflict with the SADPD. Councillor Lyons responded to the points raised. It was explained that the Masterplan had been prepared within the context of the existing planning policy framework, with a statutory status as an SPD, providing illustrative guidance on what might be appropriate on specified sites in the Town Centre.
The Executive welcomed the responses to the Masterplan consultation, which included comments on sustainable development, transport, culture and leisure, and thanked residents for taking part in the consultation.
That (i) the report be noted; and
(ii) Officers to bring back a details options report to a future meeting of the Executive.
Reason: For officers to fully assess options to provide thorough advice for Members to agree next steps.